Negotiations fail to reach agreement; GTFF walks out

A year of bargaining has failed to produce a contract proposal that meets the UO’s need for financial responsibility as well as the requirements of unionized graduate teaching fellows, who plan to strike beginning Tuesday, Dec. 2.

In a message to the campus community, interim President Scott Coltrane said he regrets that the two sides were unable to reach an agreement after lengthy negotiations. In a statement issued after the final round of talks Monday, Coltrane said he had hoped never to see this day come.

 “I care deeply about each student and employee here,” Coltrane said.  “I was hopeful every day that this could be avoided.  Unfortunately, the bargaining teams met today and could not reach an agreement.”

Coltrane said the university has made every effort to find a solution that meets both sides’ needs. He also noted that over the course of negotiations the university made numerous concessions that were not reciprocated by the union.

In spite of the breakdown in negotiations, Coltrane said the university remains prepared to work with the Graduate Teaching Fellows Federation to reach a mutually acceptable agreement. He said the university recognizes the right of every individual to choose whether and how to participate in a strike and urged everyone to show respect for one another.

He also said the university’s work will continue and assured students that their education remains the top priority.

“For our students, we have a job to do and serving students is our focus,” Coltrane said. “Final exams will be held and graded, and grades will be entered. And we will all look forward toward winter term.”

For Coltrane’s full statement, look here. For strike information and details on the university’s latest offer, check here; and for a FAQ list, check here.

—By Greg Bolt, Public Affairs Communications